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SFFRespondsToEnvironmentalists' "Cod Hysteria"

by Ellen Hardy
30 June 2008, at 1:00am

UK - The Scottish fishing industry has hit out at criticisms of the industry over the sutainability of cod.

Speaking after the issue of the annual fisheries raw science advice, Scottish Fishermen's Federation Chief Executive, Bertie Armstrong said: "I am very disappointed, but not surprised by the standard annual response of the usual suspects amongst environmental groups. A single element of the annual fisheries science has been selected and turned into a prediction of hell and damnation. This misleads the public, masks the truth about the responsible, proactive Scottish industry and damages the cooperation which would serve us well.

“There is cause for concern over the North Sea cod stocks. That is why the Scottish industry has decommissioned 65 per cent of its whitefish boats; that is why we have for almost a year now taken the initiative of real-time closures in Scottish waters to protect juvenile, spawning and adult cod and that is why we are participating in a range of technical trials and research to avoid catching unwanted fish in the first place.

“I see no mention of the stocks which are being harvested sustainably: haddock; monkfish; saithe, Rockall haddock, to name but a few with importance to the Scottish fleet. The raw scientific advice will now be turned into management proposals in a process which will run until Christmas. We will play our part in assuring sustainable production of healthy food from our home waters. Let us all work together to achieve that."

Ellen Hardy